Chapter 4

Keanu opened his eyes to find himself looking into Naomi's. He could instantly tell a lot was wrong. In her eyes her emotions lay and her emotions weren't good. He could see a mixture of anger, sadness and concern which was never a good sign.

"Why didn't you tell me you had a basement!" she hissed.

"Because I didn't want to drag you down with me into this." he explained. "Plus the fact I've been unconscious for the last few minutes!"

"Ah it's about time!" said the leader.

Keanu looked up to face him and slowly shifted to his feet. With a glance at his surroundings he could tell they were in the dark gloomy basement. In the forbidden room that only he and his father knew about. The entire grey section of the house seemed to take up most of the space with hollowed out cement flooring. It was crudely but effectively shaped to look exactly like a grey swimming pool.

"Tell us where the pens are." He demanded.

"Alle sin incantatum." Keanu murmured quietly.

Suddenly to the surprise of Naomi the pool slowly filled with water and at the deepest part of it the pens lay. Then Keanu pushed her in whispering:

"Keep the pens safe."

She splashed around indignantly for a few seconds before sinking in her waterlogged clothes. Groaning to himself he yelled for her to grab the orange one just before she went under and then turned to face the crowd of "takers" as they called themselves.

He's told me to grab a pen!? What the hell is that supposed to mean? All the same I do what he's asked and suddenly my mouth opens. Underwater. Not on purpose of course, and I desperately try to shut it again but it's like a creaky door, it refuses to close without a noisy fight. It takes me several minutes to realise I don't need to hold my breath. I can breathe underwater. I look again at the pen and this time I look closely observing the fine details. It has a beautiful drawing of a fish on it. Whatever these things are Keanu must have good reason to be protecting them, fighting for them. Is he even thinking of me? Said a worried voice inside my head. I looked up at Keanu battling various henchmen; the leader himself is circling the pool trying to work out almost as if how to get the pens. I'm surprised he hasn't tried already; nothing is stopping him but a small girl. Is he really scared of me? Then he is jerked from sight by Keanu. Blood spatters onto the surface of the pool, I can no longer tell who it belongs to and then it's all over. His hand is dangling in the water frozen in a mocking gesture. I'm glad I can't see the rest of him. I let go of the pen and allow myself to float to the surface. Keanu is smiling as he takes my hand. We look around ourselves, the henchmen are on the floor moaning, bruised and bloodied but they are not leaving. Suddenly his smile disappears. Kea promptly pushes me back into the depths and I barely remember to hold my breath in time as I go back under. I had just enough time to see the door being flung open, a dark silhouette stands in the doorway staring at Keanu and I saw the expression on his face.

"Hello. Meet the back up villain!" announced Clyde.

"Clyde?" I splutter.

He is the last person I expected to care about a bunch of pens.

"Yup that's me." he confirmed smugly.

"You're going down." I reply but maybe he can sense the insecurity in my voice.

"You sure about that? Can you really hurt a friend?" he pointed out in his mocking tone.

I internally wince at my weakness, he is probably right. I've known him for a long time now, long enough for him to get to me. I pretend to act like I hadn't heard his last question.

"Why are you doing this?"

"You know you haven't been the only person being late to training sessions. You always arrive after me so no questions were raised."

"That's not an answer."

"I've been watching you for a while now. I don't think you can hurt me."

His smart-ass attitude was irritating me. There he stood grinning away like a right git.

"Things change Clyde. Who says you're my friend anymore?"

"Certainly not me!" he exclaimed then dived into my stomach.

Taken by surprise I tried to sidestep but was not fast enough. His arms are around my legs and we both tumble into the water, Clyde goes under headfirst and I do a painful bellyflop on the surface. Gasping I tread water looking around myself. I can't see Clyde. But wait a minute - if we're in the water then Naomi is in danger too. I call out for her but she doesn't reply. That's not good. Then I feel someone tugging my legs down, I kick out but it makes little difference. Clyde seems to have an iron grip. I turn to face him but I only see his shoe in my face. Now everything is looking blurry. The water is tinted a faint red. I can't see where I'm going anymore, then I feel somebody gripping my hands. I'm hoisted out of the water. I start coughing, a horrible hacking one that I don't remember having before.

"Oh my god. Sssh! It's okay, well it's not but it will be if you stop making that disgusting noise!"

I make a vague attempt at laughing but it sounds more hysterical than natural. Nao is not the best comforter I've ever had, but her presence calmed me a little even if what she was saying wasn't helping. Although I can't really see her with my fuzzy vision I know Naomi is probably worrying. I sit for a few minutes making the most of the ability to breathe.

I look down on my boyfriend. He looks ill. He's bleeding in several places, and he certainly doesn't sound well.

"Where's Clyde?"

The anger in his voice scares me.

"I don't know." I squeak.

"Where are you?" he asks wearily.

"I'm here; I'm right next to you." I reply.

Now I'm worried, he can't see me? I look down at the pens in my sopping wet pocket examining their markings closely. One of them has a red cross on it. Guessing what this one does I press it into the palm of Kea's hand and stand back. Yellow light floods his body creeping from his injured arm to his sore head. Finally the moment ends, the yellow fades out in his eyes. He jumps to his feet and I follow suit. At first he appears to be surveying the empty pool. Then he turns to me.

"Have I ever told you just how brilliant you are?" he says before kissing me.

"How very touching."

Uh oh.

"You lose Clyde." I say.

"Ah, but I've only just begun!" he laughs, holding out a pen in front of him.

Then Kea starts to chuckle. I look between the two crazy boys not sure how to react. Even Clyde is looking puzzled, and frustrated.

"You obviously haven't done your research Clyde." Kea chortles.

"It doesn't matter, I know what this pen does and now I can use it!" yelled Clyde.

He held up the pen, and then he threw it at me. It hit my shoulder and then clattered to the floor. Kea's laughter echoes around the basement.

"You – honestly – thought – that – was – the dart – pen!?" he guffawed. "There are 9 pens. It's a commonly mistaken fact that there are 10, as that's a nice round number. We decided a decoy would come in useful."

"So – what does that one do?" I ask in bewilderment.

"Well it was supposed to do nothing but I thought it should do something and had a little fiddle..." he explained picking up the decoy as he spoke. "...now it should do this..."

He pressed the button on its side and a net came out from the ceiling of the basement, it covered almost the entire room apart from the place where we were standing. I could tell Kea had been waiting for this moment. We were in the perfect position for the onlooker. Clyde was completely trapped.

"I love you." I stated simply.

Loud footsteps began coming our way and the basement door opened.

"What's all the commotion? What have I missed?" asked Kea's dad.

The look on face was priceless as it scanned the room.

The End